Reading Festival 2008 (Day 2)

Reading Festival 2008 (Day 2): live in Readinglive in Reading (2008)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

No space for an introduction or this will be too long. Continuing on from Day One, I had had a rather ‚??heavy' night, what with all the musical euphoria and so unfortunately, failed to made it to see Random Hand and Hi-Fi Hand Grenades. My friend said I hadn't missed much, but who knows [?]

However, I certainly did make it out of camp to see the Gaslight Anthem hit the stage for their first ever gig in the UK. They hit the stage and the handful of people in the crowd who are up to date with a band which are very much an American east coast phenomena revealed themselves with roars of approval. The band certainly seemed to take a few songs to warm up, as did the crowd, but by the time they began "Great Expectations" the tent had been infected with rock'n'roll spirit. The songs were often interjected with the apparently drunk musings of front man Brian Fallon; "It's my Mum's birthday! Also, I love [Saturday headliners] the Killers! My mum's baked them a cake. She kinda does things in reverse". The awkward and confused laughter which followed aside, the Gaslight Anthem certainly made some new friends [9]

Next; Fucked Up. I was looking forward to them, having seen them before and knowing how their live shows normally end up, who wouldn't be? I was not disappointed as ‚??large' front man Damian Abraham threw himself left, right and centre and located nearly all the kids at the front who were into their Canadian hardcore and gave them the mic for a line. Highly entertaining and highly sweaty; just how punk should be [8]

The King Blues entered next into a tent which was packed for the first time since Goldfinger the day before. The King Blues are essentially a group of young people who met as squatters in Clapham Common in London and formed a punk band. For a band named after their favourite drug smoking utensil, you can begin to understand their sound, with strong reggae influences and highly anti-authoritarian lyrics. They played a mixture of songs off their only album Under the Fog and a bunch from a new upcoming release. Not only did they put in a fantastic performance, but their new stuff sounded fantastic and they achieved a moment every band strives for; where fans start singing back lines of new songs they've never heard before. Throw in some crowd chanting, dancing and plenty of punk love and what you have is utterly electric; Keep an eye out for this lot [10]

Cancer Bats; I'll be brief; very good as per usual, but little different to the times I have seen them before and possibly did not adapt to the large venue as well as some of the other bands, despite another packed out tent full of fans. [8]

Once again the tiring quest that is a music festival meant another musical casualty; this time MXPX. Sorry. However, I needed to have my dancing legs rested for Flogging Molly, who rocked up and reeled off song after song to a rabid crowd, punctuated with Irish flags. "Drunken Lullabies" suitably caused complete yet delightful chaos in the tent whilst "Paddy's Lament" and "Float," from their new release went down surprisingly well. [8]

Thrice. Booked to play last year, yet pulled out, so were back to make amends. Unfortunately, I think this means they decided to skim the recent brilliant Alchemy Index releases, concentrating much more on Vheissu. Gutting. And no Artist in the Ambulance either!. A big disappointment for me, and whilst opening track "Firestarter" was phenomenal, everything else missed the mark [6]

Alkaline Trio hit the stage with Matt Skiba in a "I love Reading" shirt, bought from the nearby merch stand. But such blatant crowd-pleasing was really not needed to a packed tent of loud fans. Their set did lean quite heavily on new release Agony and Irony, but songs such as "Calling All Skeletons" translated live surprisingly well. However, they also put in a few old-timers treats including "Crawl" and quite surprisingly "I Lied My Face Off", which I greatly received, before finishing with "This Could Be Love". Top stuff from a classic band of the last decade [9]

Gallows. Last year, the Gallows put in one of the best Reading shows ever, ending in Frank Carter getting tattooed on stage and climbing a 30ft pole. What most people were asking was how would they top it? The answer? Well, they wouldn't. Firstly, Carter had two cracked ribs from their warm-up show three days earlier. Secondly, the band had decided to exclusively showcase new tracks from their future sophomore release. The band entered the stage wielding a huge black and white Union Jack. Reason? Still unknown. The new material was‚?¶slightly different from the classic Gallows sound, but to be honest, I found it hard to truly judge. Despite his ribs, Carter did crowd surf the entire length of the crowd to the sound-desk (a good 30+ meters) and the band was tight and energetic. Most entertaining of all, came as the music stopped, as Carter destroyed the stage, putting an amp through the drum-kit and ripping the mic stands to pieces. A fun ending to the day; but not a classic [7+1 for pointless destruction]

Overall, this day probably just fell short of the previous day's standard. But only just. However, overall, the Lockup Stage at Reading Festival over its two days truly created a new high water mark for showcasing punk music in the UK. If you live in the UK and like punk; you have to go. And if you live in the US, fuck it, get on a plane. It's that good.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
binaural111 (September 1, 2008)

i'm bummed that i missed flashlight's first ever reading performance. i dunno, somehow i think virgin shows are usually the most exciting. especially at reading. i LOVED it last year.

MelbourneVic (September 1, 2008)

Brian Fallon Drunk?....drunk on life maybe

LeightonESmith (September 1, 2008)

""The band entered the stage wielding a huge black and white Union Jack. Reason? Still unknown. "

score is for this sentence.

Not a sentence. Sorry.

crackpotdemagogue (August 31, 2008)

"The band entered the stage wielding a huge black and white Union Jack. Reason? Still unknown. "

score is for this sentence.

have to say, leeds/reading will never top the line-up of the fest, but it's as good as it gets in the uk - sadly

damo (August 30, 2008)

70 mins 2 encore songs is pretty good fella. not many bands do longer

red_eye_inc (August 30, 2008)

This "rating after each band" review style is surprisingly efficient for festivals. I hate it when people do it for other shows, but it works well here, good job duder

schrutebucks (August 30, 2008)

I saw Alk3 in July and was extremely disappointed in the set length. They only played for maybe 70 minutes or so and only two songs on the encore. Still a good show though.

PoliticsOfStarving (August 30, 2008)

I want to see 'I Lied My Face Off' live

qwak (August 30, 2008)

Random Hand were excellent, really got a crowd. Also that wasn't gaslight's first gig in the UK. They played a gig in London on the Friday.


Thrice were great, I was really impressed.

NoSpace (August 30, 2008)

the king blues are one of the best bands around in the UK at the moment. under the fog is such a fantastic record, and theyre super nice guys.

chrisafi (August 29, 2008)

Now for the full list of information I didn't put in because otherwise the two reviews would have been far too long. ( I will probably remember a bunch more and post that in a few days)

The Lockup Tent lineup over the two days is picked by Mike Davies, who runs the BBCRadio1 PunkRock show every Tuesday morning at 2am (GMT). Check out the bbc website, you can listen online upto 7 days afterwards, the man is not only a legend but plays alot of good stuff there.

Both Tiger Army and Goldfinger on Day One and Alkaline Trio on Day Two dedicated tracks to recently passed Jerry Finn. Tiger Army dedicated Pain and the Trio, Goodbye Forever. (Sorry, can't remember the Goldfinger track or if it was just a between-songs-tribute)

Fucked Up played a gig from 10pm-2pm in the nearby Rivermead Centre, just outside the festival which apparently was fantastic, and lots of the bands who played on Day Two, including the Gallows turned up to party with them. Pretty gutted I didn't go and catch it, but I went back to camp to party instead.

Gaslight Anthem; Brian Fallon also talked about it being Gaslights first English gig, and that 'he loved england, i spent all night watching Mighty Boosh I love that show'. The band also played a good minute and a half of 'Stand be Me', which frankly was awesome.

The Loved Ones also did a country cover on Day One but I can't remember what it was.....(sorry)

After popping in on his brother band Blackhole on Friday, Frank Carter and the Gallows were joined by Frank's brother towards the end of their set in a kind of exchange trip. How cute (?)

Carter, when revealing his two broken ribs on stage commented that despite them he was obviously going to perform and not 'do a slipknot'. He then, took back his jibe, claiming in 1999, the last time slipknot played Reading Festival he was a kid in the crowd, wearing a full boiler suit and was not ashamed.

Sunday saw Dropkick Murphys, Alexisonfire, Feeder, Tenacious D and Metallica (and Slipknot and A7X both pulled out at short notice). I won't be reviewing it as I missed quite a few bands as i was horrifically hungover and not that interested.

Three bands around the festival on different stages played Nirvana covers over the weekend, a slightly bizarre coincidence; they were Feeder, Dirty Pretty Things and Pennywise

On the BBCIntroducing Stage (for local bands), a band called the FF'ers was booked to play 4pm on Sunday. Rumours became thick and fast that this band could be the Foo Fighters (well it would make sense) as they were strongly rumoured to headline before it was actually announced. It turned out it was a group of teenagers from Leeds and unfortunatly, the ridiculously huge crowd which had turned up in the very very small tent was somewhat dissapointed and promptly began to bottle them off and boo. It's a tough buissness.

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